Friday, October 11, 2019

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!! -- Game 6: Capitals at Stars, October 12th

The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR!!!

The Washington Capitals bring the week to an end on Saturday night when they visit the Lone Star State to face the Dallas Stars in a rematch of Tuesday’s matchup that the Caps lost in overtime, 4-3.  You can take a look at the prognosto for that one for some information to impress your friends and confound your adversaries, but here are some more tidbits on which you can snack:

1.  This will be the Capitals’ 20th visit to Dallas since the Stars moved there from Minnesota for the 1993-1994 season.  Washington has a 5-12-2 record in Big D, which might stand for “Big Disappointment.”

2.  All five wins by the Caps in Dallas were of the one-goal variety, four of them in overtime.

3.  The first, last, and only win in regulation the Caps have had in Dallas came on October 17, 1995.  You might remember that as the date on which a French woman Jeanne Calment reached the confirmed age of 120 years and 238 days, making her the oldest person ever recorded.   Then again, you might remember that Mike Eagles and Mark Tinordi scored goals to wipe out a 2-0 Dallas lead, Stefan Ustorf scored to give the Caps a lead, and after Dallas tied the game one more time, Dale Hunter scored the game-winning goal in the third period.  Jim Carey (remember him?) was the winning goaltender.

4.  Each of the last three games played by these teams in Dallas ended in overtime.  The Caps won in January 2017 on a Jay Beagle goal 19 seconds into the extra frame, and then they won in December 2017 on an Andre Burakovsky goal in overtime.  Both games ended by 4-3 scores.  Dallas won the last meeting, in overtime, last January on a Tyler Seguin goal in extra time.

5.  Tyler Seguin scored the overtime, game-winning goal in each of the last two games between these teams.  No player has more overtime game-winners in team history against the Caps than Seguin (two).

6.  These teams and overtime… Each of the last three regular season games and five of the last seven overall, regardless of venue, were settled in overtime.

7.  These teams also like “4-3” games.  Eight of the last 18 games played by these teams finished with that score (five in extra time).  The Caps won four, and the Stars won four.

8.  Going into this season, what two Capitals were the all-time leaders in goals and points against the Stars in Dallas? If one of your answers was “Alex Ovechkin,” well good for you, even if it was not a very original guess.  The other?   Andre Burakovsky.  Both Ovechkin and Burakovsky were 2-5-7 in Dallas.  Burakovsky’s feat might be more impressive, having done it in only five games (not to mention having an overtime game-winning goal).  Ovechkin did it over nine games.

9.  Five wins in Dallas, five different goaltenders.  Jim Carey, Craig Billington, Jose Theodore, Braden Holtby, and Philipp Grubauer.  Theodore is the only one to win in his only appearance for the Caps in Dallas against the Stars.  He and Grubauer are the only ones to do it in their only start (Grubauer had two appearances in Dallas).

10.  No goalie was frustrated more in Dallas than Olaf Kolzig.  In six appearances (five starts), he was 0-5-0, 3.07, .859, but he does have the only point scored by a goalie in Dallas, an assist on the Caps’ only goal in a 4-1 loss in January 2006.  In his five starts, the Caps scored only four goals and were shut out twice.  Not much to work with there.

The Peerless’ Players to Ponder

Dallas: Tyler Seguin

Tyler Seguin isn’t bad enough scoring the game-winning overtime goal against the Caps in Washington on Tuesday night.  He is the active leader among Stars in scoring against the Caps in Dallas with five goals and eight points in six games played in Big D.  Three of the goals are power play strikes, two of the goals are game-winners, one in overtime.  He has been especially painful to the Caps in another respect.  Overall, he has five game-winning goals in 24 career games against the Caps, the most he has against any opponent except the Winnipeg Jets (eight in 36 games).  He has five career power play goals against Washington.  Only against the Jets does he have more (13).

Washington: Tom Wilson

Three players in Caps history through last season appeared in 10 or more games against the Dallas incarnation of the Stars franchise and not recorded a point.  Two – Brendan Witt and Joe Reekie – are retired defensemen.  The other is Tom Wilson, who had no points in 11 career games against the Stars at the end of last season.  He broke that drought with his first point of the season (an assist) on Tuesday night.  It is a change from last season for Wilson who, after opening the season on suspension, had points in nine of his first ten games (8-6-14), four of them multi-point games, and did not go consecutive games without a point until December.  With the forward lines settling out upon the return of Evgeny Kuznetsov from his own suspension to open the season, perhaps Wilson’s production (which improved with a shorthanded goal on Thursday against Nashville) will pick up.

In the end…

This game will end a difficult start to the new season for the Caps.  The five teams against whom the Caps opened the season were among the best scoring defenses last season: St. Louis (fifth), the New York Islanders (first), Carolina (eighth), Nashville (fourth), and Dallas (second).  Things change in a hurry for the Caps, who will face the more offense-inclined Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs when they leave Dallas.  But, first things first.  And given the history of these teams, the score should be apparent.  Just with a different ending than Tuesday night.

Capitals 4 – Stars 3